<p>Brown University will fund four student-initiated projects in Providence aimed at promoting environmental sustainability. The projects will be financed with a grant from the Sidney E. Frank Foundation and the Office of the President at Brown. They range from installing high-efficiency lighting to partnering with Providence homeowners to install programmable thermostats and weatherize homes.</p>

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University will fund four student-initiated projects under the Community Carbon Use Reduction at Brown (CCURB) program, which funds projects that partner Brown students, faculty and staff with local organizations to measurably reduce carbon emissions in the Providence community.

The student projects further the University’s goal of contributing to a sustainable environment on its campus and beyond.

“The CCURB projects we are funding are wonderful examples of our students’ ingenuity and commitment to environmental change,” said Beppie Huidekoper, Brown’s executive vice president for finance and administration and co-chair of the CCURB committee. “All of the grant applications we considered showed creativity and commitment to a sustainable Earth. Ultimately, we chose the ones which showed a measurable reduction in carbon emissions coupled with meeting the needs of the community.”

Each CCURB proposal was required to include an estimated reduction in annual carbon emissions. Additionally, proposals required the inclusion of a faculty advisor. The CCURB committee received nine applications and funded four pilot projects.

Funded projects include:

  • a student group that will partner with a middle school for low-middle income girls in Providence to design and implement carbon emission projects;
  • a student-faculty that group will install high-efficiency lighting in low-income Providence homes;
  • a student group that will partner with a community organization to install programmable thermostats in Providence homes;
  • a student group that will work with local government agencies and Providence homeowners to weatherize homes with the goal of reducing energy consumption.

Details of each project will be announced as they become operational.

In October 2007, Brown President Ruth J. Simmons and the Sidney E. Frank Foundation committed $300,000 for pilot projects aimed at promoting environmental sustainability in the greater Providence community. They stipulated that at least $200,000 of the funds should go to student-initiated projects. The CCURB committee, comprised of faculty, staff and students and co-chaired by Huidekoper, was created to establish funding criteria and to oversee allocation of the monies.

The committee outlined the following guidelines for CCURB projects:

  • maximize learning for project teams and community participants;
  • engage others as a means of furthering sustainability and maximizing impact;
  • support Brown’s commitment to responsible community engagement;
  • produce a measurable net reduction of carbon use as a result of actions taken.

Several CCURB committee members will serve as faculty advisors on the student-initiated projects. To avoid conflicts of interest, these committee members recused themselves from committee work while funding decisions were made.

Brown has demonstrated a commitment to environmental sustainability in all facets of campus life. In January, the University announced an aggressive and comprehensive plan that will reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions from existing facilities to 42 percent below 2007 levels by 2020. Brown also implemented a requirement that emissions will be reduced by up to 50 percent for all newly constructed and acquired facilities.

A full description of University sustainability initiatives is available at www.brown.edu/Departments/Brown_Is_Green/